French authorities investigate Le Pen’s campaign financing

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By Creative Media News

  • Le Pen’s 2022 campaign financing under investigation
  • Inquiry involves embezzlement, forgery, and fraud
  • Separate trial for alleged EU funds misuse

French investigators are investigating the financing of far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s 2022 campaign, which she lost to President Emmanuel Macron, according to prosecutors.

The inquiry, which began on July 2, is based on a 2023 report by the National Commission on Campaign Accounts and Political Financing (CNCCFP), which examines candidates’ election spending and funding, the prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday.

It stated that it would investigate allegations of embezzlement, forgery, and fraud, as well as claims that a candidate on an electoral campaign accepted a loan.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of the far-right National Rally (RN) party until 2021, competed against Emmanuel Macron in the 2017 and 2022 presidential elections and could run again in 2027.

In 2022, she spent approximately 11.5 million euros ($12.4 million) on her third presidential campaign, the second time she met Macron in the runoff and lost to him.

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The CNCCFP protested to expenses associated with putting up and taking down campaigning posters on 12 buses in December 2022, citing them as “irregular”.

Last month, France’s highest court upheld a sentence against the RN for overcharging the state for campaigning kits used by its candidates in the 2012 parliamentary elections.

Le Pen and her party have repeatedly denied misconduct in relation to campaign financing. The RN party has not commented on the ongoing probe.

Separately, Le Pen and 27 others are scheduled to stand trial later this year for alleged misuse of European Union funding, which Le Pen’s party has denied.

That probe, launched in 2016, sought to determine if the then-National Front party had diverted funds intended for EU parliamentary assistants to pay party employees.

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